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The Early Labor Market Impacts of COVID-19 in Developing Countries : Evidence from High-Frequency Phone Surveys (English)

The economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has sharply reduced mobility and economic activity, disrupting the lives of people around the globe. This paper presents estimates on the early impact of the crisis on labor markets in 39 countries based on high-frequency phone survey data collected between April and July 2020. Workers in these countries experienced severe labor market disruptions following the COVID-19 outbreak. Based on simple averages across countries, 34 percent of the respondents reported stopping work, 20 percent of wage workers reported lack of payment for work performed, 9 percent reported job changes due to the pandemic, and 62 percent reported income loss in their household. Stopping work was more prevalent in the industrial and service sectors than in agriculture. Measures of work stoppage and income loss in the high-frequency phone survey are generally consistent with gross domestic product growth projections in Latin America and the Caribbean but not in Sub-Saharan Africa. This suggests that the survey data contribute new and important information on economic impacts in low-income countries.


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    Khamis,Melanie, Prinz,Daniel, Newhouse,David Locke, Palacios-Lopez,Amparo, Pape,Utz Johann, Weber,Michael

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    Policy Research Working Paper

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    The World Region,

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    The Early Labor Market Impacts of COVID-19 in Developing Countries : Evidence from High-Frequency Phone Surveys

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Khamis,Melanie Prinz,Daniel Newhouse,David Locke Palacios-Lopez,Amparo Pape,Utz Johann Weber,Michael

The Early Labor Market Impacts of COVID-19 in Developing Countries : Evidence from High-Frequency Phone Surveys (English). Policy Research working paper,no. WPS 9510,COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.